When done right, oven fries should be golden brown and crispy on the outside and delightfully fluffy on the inside. A few simple techniques will help you achieve this.

Oven fries on a parchment-lined tray with a ramekin of ketchup.

Homemade French Fries In Oven are Easy!

If you’ve tried other oven baked French fries recipes on the internet and have been disappointed, I don’t blame you. There’s a lot of bad information out there!

I’ve made french fries in the oven numerous times in my home kitchen, and there’s definitely some do’s and don’ts to be aware of. (If you’ve been told to bake them without soaking the potatoes first, or to cram them all on one pan, you’ve been misled!).

Forget sad, steamed potato fries that are limp and pale yellow and just not tasty. When done right, oven fries should be golden brown and crispy on the outside and delightfully fluffy on the inside. With a few simple techniques, you’ll be eating the fries of your dreams.

Why You Will Love Oven Fries

  • They offer a nice crunch and golden brown flavor with significantly less oil than deep frying.
  • They’re easy to customize with your favorite seasonings, making them a side dish that goes with practically everything.
  • Oven fries don’t require constant attention like deep frying. Once they’re in the oven, you’ll only need to flip them once or twice, giving you time to prepare other parts of your meal.
Ingredients on a light surface, including sliced potatoes, spices, oil and parsley.

Ingredients for Oven French Fries

  • russet potatoes – this type of potato is ideal for making fries due to its high starch content and low moisture. For four servings of oven baked French fries, you’ll need to start with about 2-1/2 pounds of potatoes before peeling. That’s about 5 medium potatoes.
  • olive oil – a generous amount of oil is used to coat the fries which will help them crisp up in the oven. Olive oil is a healthier fat compared to other oils, which is why it’s my first choice.
  • garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper – this is the seasoning blend I like best for this oven fries recipe! It’s heavy on the garlic powder for a robust, savory flavor. You can tweak the spice ratios according to your own personal preference.

How to Make Oven Fries

Sliced potatoes on a wooden cutting board.

1. SLICE. Wash and peel the potatoes, then slice them into matchsticks. Without getting all extra and getting out a ruler or anything, try to cut them into about 1/4-to 1/2-inch matchsticks.

Sliced potatoes soaking in water in a rustic bowl.

2. SOAK. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Allow the potatoes to soak for at least 30 minutes (but you can leave them for up to 3 hours). If possible, try to change the soaking water once or twice during this time.

Sliced potatoes wrapped in a blue and white striped towel.

3. DRY. Remove the potatoes from the water and throughly dry them using as many clean kitchen towels as needed. They need to be DRY DRY.

Sliced potatoes tossed with seasonings in a glass bowl.

4.SEASON. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and toss them together with the oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika.

Sliced potatoes on parchment-lined baking pans.

5. BAKE. Divide the potatoes between two parchment lined baking pans and spread them in single layers so there is as much space between the fries as possible (it’s easiest to use your fingers to arrange the fries). Transfer the pans to the top and bottom racks of the oven and bake 20 minutes, switching the pans between the racks halfway through baking.  

Oven baked French fries on parchment-lined baking pans.

6. FINISH. Remove the fries from the oven and use a large pancake spatula to flip the potatoes, in large sections, as best you can. You do not need to carefully turn every potato. Increase the oven temperature, return the fries to the oven, and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until the fries are golden brown and crispy.

Oven French fries on a parchment-lined tray with a ramekin of ketchup.

Why You Need to Soak Potatoes for Oven French Fries

Soaking the potatoes in cold water for 30 minutes before baking helps remove the excess starch from the potatoes. Excess starch turns to sugar when it bakes, which causes the outside of the fries to get too dark brown before the insides are fully cooked.

So, removing the excess starch with a water soak is crucial because it leads to fries that are crisper on the outside and tender on the inside after baking!

How Long to Bake French Fries In Oven

How long to bake fries all depends on how you’ve cut them. If they’re closer to 1/4 inch wide, they might take 30 minutes total in the oven, or even less. If they’re closer to 1/2 inch wide, they might take 40 minutes total in the oven, or even a little longer.

It’s best to keep a close eye on them and pull them as soon as they are dark golden brown and crispy.

Oven baked French fries on a parchment-lined tray with a ramekin of ketchup.

Home Chef Tips for French Fries in Oven

  • Do the best you can to try to cut your fries into an even thickness to ensure they all cook at the same rate.
  • Be sure to adjust your oven racks before you preheat the oven. Instead of two racks being close to each other in the center of the oven, you want one rack near the top and one rack near the bottom.
  • Use heavy duty baking sheets (I get mine from a restaurant supply store). Thicker baking sheets tend to distribute heat more evenly than thinner ones, which helps avoid burnt spots.
French fries in oven served with ketchup.

How to Serve This Oven Fries Recipe

Serve these oven baked French fries with ketchup, mayo or even something like my creamy feta dressing. Actually, if you’re into feta, use the fries as the starting point for Greek fries!

Or, serve these fries alongside an entree like:

Homemade French fries in oven on a white plate, sprinkled with parsley.

How to Store this Oven Fries Recipe

If you have leftover oven French fries, transfer them to a storage container and place them in the fridge uncovered for a few hours until they are fully chilled, then cover them with the lid and keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days. 

Reheat them in a 300 degree oven or an air fryer until they are warmed through.

Oven fries on a parchment-lined tray with a ramekin of ketchup.
A white plate topped with oven baked French fries with ramekin of ketchup.

Oven Baked French Fries

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

When done right, oven fries should be golden brown and crispy on the outside and delightfully fluffy on the inside. A few simple techniques will help you achieve this.

Ingredients

  • 5 medium Russet potatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds before peeling)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

  1. Wash and peel potatoes, and slice into 1/4 to 1/2-inch wide matchsticks.
  2. Place potatoes in large bowl and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Allow potatoes to soak for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours. Change the water once or twice during the soaking time, if possible. During soaking time, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 2 large rimmed baking pans with parchment paper. 
  3. Remove potatoes from water and use kitchen towel to throughly pat them dry. Use additional towels if you need to to ensure the potatoes are as dry as possible.
  4. Place potatoes in large bowl. Add oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika and toss until well combined.
  5. Divide potatoes between prepared pans and spread in single layers so there is as much space between fries as possible (it’s easiest to use your fingers to arrange the fries) Transfer pans to top and bottom racks of oven and bake 20 minutes, switching pans between racks halfway through baking.  
  6. Remove fries from oven and use large pancake spatula to flip the potatoes, in large sections, as best you can. You do not need to carefully turn every potato. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Return potatoes to oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until fries are golden brown and crispy.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 348mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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